"Geological Features of Yellowstone" A map created by science teachers in Acalanes Union High School District
Teachers are wild about maps. Students are wild about maps. From watching kindergarteners navigate the world to alternative high school students chomping at the bit to take a turn zooming around their neighborhoods and beyond, I have seen Google Maps take kids places.
Have you made your own maps in class? If so, what for? If not, can you think of some uses in the class?
This summer at ISTE (an international tech education conference held in San Diego), curious about the current craze over maps in the classroom and in order to check out my colleagues in action, I attended a session on making maps. I learned that making maps is easy and engaging and can even serve as an assessment tool.
Here is the recording of the KQED presentation Enhance Science Learning with Online Mapmaking, a guided step-by-step, hour-long workshop on creating maps.
photo by Mike Lawrence
I occasionally find myself sitting in conference sessions and meetings and have to silently chuckle about the amount of electronic devices in my possession--a laptop, iPad, iPhone and all of the chargers and accessories that accompany them. However, at the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) Annual Conference in Palm Springs last week, I was far from the only person with a messenger bag full of devices. The CUE Conference brings together educators from all over California that are interested in advancing student learning through the use of technology. For three days, 3,200 teachers, administrators, technology coordinators and professional development providers shared tips and best practices for integrating technology tools into the classroom--both traditional and online.
Scanning through the conference sessions in the program, it was clear what the hot topics were this year: video, apps, and mobile, mobile, mobile. More than 10% of the approximately 300 sessions focused on using iPads. And these sessions were packed. From iPad basics to creating videos on the iPad, the best apps to install, and using them for differentiated instruction, it’s certain that educators see value in tablet computers and are eager to bring them into the classroom.
While there were quite a lot of technology veterans in this savvy group, it was also nice to see educators who are fairly new to this digital world and are enthusiastic about incorporating new tools and strategies into their teaching. In KQED's session, "Putting Science on the (Google) Map," we were pleasantly surprised to find that only a couple participants had previously created a Google Map. (Also exciting was that almost all of the attendees were science teachers!). As technology becomes increasingly available and accessible to our schools, I can only imagine this CUE community growing exponentially.
Want to jump onboard? The Fall CUE Conference is taking place in Napa Valley, October 26-27, 2012.